One of the first books that I ever read on the topic of economics was “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement“, published in 1980 by Milton and Rose Friedman. As the Free to Choose Wikipedia article notes, “This book maintains that the free market works best for all members of a society, provides examples of how the free market engenders prosperity, and maintains that it can solve problems where other approaches have failed.” Anyway, Free to Choose deeply influenced me when I read it as a beginning graduate student, and I am delighted to see that a Values & Capitalism blogger named Kurt Jaros is “walking” his readers through the entire book. Here’s a list of blog postings that he has contributed so far, along with brief summaries provided by Mr. Jaros (source: http://valuesandcapitalism.com/authors/t-kurt-jaros):
“Free to Choose
This Christmas I asked for and received Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman. I’ve been a big fan of Milton for a while now, be it reading some articles online or watching YouTube videos of him.
The Power of the Market: Part 1
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the introduction to Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman. In this post, I will explore some of the points from the first chapter, “The Power of the Market.” Friedman begins the chapter by explaining the difference between a command and a voluntary economy.
The Power of the Market: Part 2
Some people think the free market is full of greedy men who respond to monetary stimuli. But this isn’t the essence of a market (despite some types of those men acting within the free market).
The Tyranny of Controls
In the second chapter, Friedman writes on the role of government as it relates to trade. He makes a strong case for free trade, and specifically focuses on international trade. However, the same principles ought to be applied to domestic trade.
The Tyranny of Controls: Part 2
In my previous post I explained why the government should not regulate tariffs due to their harmful consequences toward consumers and innovation. This is part five of a book series on Free to Choose by Milton Friedman.
The Anatomy of Crisis
In my previous post, I shared Milton Friedman’s thoughts on why international trade is bad for an economy. This is part six of the series on “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman. Often times in our political discussions with friends and colleagues we want to play the role of doctor and figure out what the source of pain is. We can both agree on what the symptoms are, but we may have different answers for the cause.
Cradle to Grave
In my previous post, I summarized Friedman’s beliefs about the Federal Reserve, its proper role, and how its failure is what leads us to economic problems (not capitalism). In his following chapter, “Cradle to Grave,” Friedman explains how the welfare state began to take off during the FDR administration.
Cradle to Grave: Part 2
In my previous post I began to discuss the shift of public perception about the role of government in America from one that merely protects the individuals to one that also provides for the individuals. Although he does not use the term, Friedman considers Social Security to be a Ponzi scheme.”